When we encounter a company that has had HubSpot for a couple of years or more frequently our first recommendation is a HubSpot portal audit. Yes, it's the oldest consultant trick in the book. We will ask you to pay us to look under the hood and provide you with a list of recommendations, which you can either implement yourself or have us implement.
Why does your HubSpot implementation need an audit?
Why do we insist on a HubSpot audit as the first step of any engagement for companies with an existing HubSpot implementation? Here are some key reasons.
- Your HubSpot was “Self-Implemented.”
A HubSpot self-implemented by a marketer with limited HubSpot experience will most assuredly have fatal flaws. HubSpot has many settings, tools, functionality, and pieces that work together but aren't immediately apparent.
- You used HubSpot Onboarding.
A HubSpot implementation guided by HubSpot Onboarding has issues in structure and content. The $3,000 product is often (over) sold by HubSpot. It takes marketers through a “guided” onboarding process with 30-minute meetings every other week run by a HubSpot team member. And you do the tasks. We have been through this process before (even recently because a client insisted on purchasing it) and we find it isn't sufficient. The pace is slow, and no one is checking your work. The tasks are rote, not customized to what you actually want to do as a marketer. It ends up being a waste of time for most people.
- You have an older HubSpot implementation (3-5+ years).
A HubSpot portal that has been around for a while, with several different generations of marketers and agencies working in it, will naturally be somewhat of a confusing mess. The agencies will have stepped on each other and implemented various strategies with tangling and conflicting workflows and results. The marketers coming and going will not have understood the organizational structure and will have implemented even more functionality on top of existing.
- The HubSpot software constantly changes.
HubSpot has over a billion dollars in annualized revenue, plowing much into software development. As a CRM, it has gotten more complex and streamlined (all simultaneously). Unless you have someone staying on top of changes and implementing them back into your HubSpot, your CRM will likely become inefficient and sub-optimized over time.
What do we look at during a HubSpot Audit?
We have a set list we run through in an audit to quickly understand what the company has been doing from a sales and marketing perspective and what the opportunities are from a technical and strategic perspective. Here are the 20 items we pay the closest attention to during a HubSpot portal audit.
- Settings - We go through a HubSpot implementation setting by setting to understand choices made and functionality potentially missed. Settings include account, subscription, and product details, domain, and security settings. We check the number of contacts against the subscription type and look for cost-saving opportunities.
- Integrations - What pieces of software have been implemented, and is the integration set up correctly? Frequently we see significant errors with a Salesforce Integration.
- Tools - We look at all aspects of HubSpot automation available to the HubSpot subscription and call out where tools are being overlooked or not used. Frequently these include obvious HubSpot functionality like Popups, chat, templates and sequences, and playbooks.
- Dashboards & Reports - What dashboards and reports are frequently used with what key metrics are called out? We tend to set up our own dashboards during a HubSpot audit to look at the implementation from a holistic point of view.
- Contacts & Companies - We look for duplicate contacts and companies. We also test the whole list against Neverbounce for valid emails. Are there contacts that should potentially be deleted or removed? How are lists being used in HubSpot? Is any cleanup or classification of data or lists needed?
- Properties - How are properties being used? Are there many unused properties that have been created and then abandoned? Are any duplicate properties being used inconsistently? Have a bunch of source attribution properties been created?
- Traffic and New Contacts - We look at traffic and contacts from all sources (e.g. organic, direct, paid, social, etc.) to understand what Marketing has been focusing on and what the overarching conversion rates are.
- Lead Classification and Attribution - In our look at contacts & companies, we try to ascertain if there has been proper use and automation around HubSpot Lifecycle Stage and Lead Status. Are HubSpot Lead Sources being used correctly or has some strange lead attribution model been implemented?
- Lead Scoring - Has a complicated lead scoring algorithm been contrived? Is it working and producing the intended results?
- Workflows - Usually, this is a hellscape in any HubSpot implementation. Are there apparent errors and conflicts between workflows? Can workflows be cleaned up and organized to make maintenance better? Are there workflows throwing consistent errors?
- Blogs - How are blogs being used? Is the HubSpot automated RSS email newsletter feed enabled? Is the blog hooked up to social media? Are blog tags being used strategically?
- Social Media - Are the standard social accounts hooked up? How often do they post, and what are the results? Are they using HubSpot or another tool to post and analyze social media?
- Forms - Are standardized forms being used or are new forms created for every use case and landing page? Are hidden fields being used to their best advantage?
- Landing Pages - Are Landing pages hooked up appropriately with thank you pages and thank you emails? Are landing pages using best practice design recommendations such as limited navigation and links?
- Website Pages - If the website is implemented in HubSpot, we typically do a cursory overview of SEO recommendations and implementation practices, including the menu and navigation. Any use of Topic or Pillar pages? Are keywords driving traffic?
- Email Performance - We examine open rates and click-through rates, unsubscribe, and bounce rates for best practices. We look at the Hubspot Email Health tool to see what has been happening.
- Nurture - Is there evidence of a Lead Nurture process in HubSpot, initiated either by Sales or Marketing? Is it effective?
- Paid - How has paid media been used? Is there evidence of paid leads converting to closed/won revenue?
- Sales Communication - Can we tell how Sales is communicating to marketing about lead quality (with or without HubSpot Sales CRM implemented)? For a HubSpot Sales implementation, we examine the deal pipelines and stages for best practice.
- Sales Automation Tools - HubSpot has extensive automation tools that many Sales Teams overlook (snippets, documents, templates, sequences, playbooks, tasks, and much more). Are HubSpot Meetings being used?
Can you self-audit your own HubSpot?
Absolutely. Just Google “HubSpot portal audit.” Many articles from agencies and even HubSpot (“How to Audit a Client Portal”) will walk you through how to do a HubSpot portal audit. However (and not a surprise), we contend that it's beneficial to have an experienced third party come in and objectively audit your portal. Why? We have no dogs in the fight, and all we do daily is stay up-to-speed on and work in HubSpot.
Not to brag, but we always find multiple opportunities from a HubSpot portal audit, and many times decently impactful. We document all findings with links and recommended next steps so action items are immediately apparent. HubSpot is constantly evolving and changing, and it is our job as a HubSpot Diamond Partner to find optimizations and best practices needed in any HubSpot portal. And it is the marketer's job to generate leads and revenue. You can't do everything. Nor should you.